Coastal Ocean Institute
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don anderson and jon woodruff
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Don Anderson, right, and Jon Woodruff, a Joint Program student, with a sediment core from Saint Kitts, West Indies, which is part of a study that uses coastal flood deposits to reconstruct how hurricane activity in the Western North Atlantic has varied in response to past changes in climate. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, WHOI)
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» Coastal Ocean Institute

» Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks (ORION)

» Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory

The Coastal Ocean Institute (COI) and Rinehart Coastal Research Center promote scientific inquiry into phenomena that shape our coastal waters and ecosystems, encouraging innovative, interdisciplinary research and high-risk technology development. We also strive to translate the results of this basic research for citizens and policymakers, while providing a solid information base for resource managers.

In addition to six research projects initiated in 2005 (see map), we undertook a wide range of activities to promote and communicate coastal research. We undertook a major expansion of the “current topics” section of our webpage to provide better access to science information. This site now includes in-depth information on such topics as: natural hazards (tsunamis, hurricanes, and other storms); the moving shoreline; harmful algal blooms; coastal pollution; waves, tides, and currents and many others. Within each of these topics, we have provided feature stories and news releases, information on WHOI researchers who are working on the topic, related links, publications, etc. Our goal is to make the COI website a comprehensive resource for relevant information on all major coastal ocean issues, providing information to the public, students, researchers, and journalists.

We provided support for two postdocs this year. Rubao Ji is studying processes that control phytoplankton blooms on Georges Bank. Brian White is studying the role of internal waves in the horizontal transport of plankton. We initiated support for a COI Committee Fellow, Carin Ashjian, a biologist who is investigating the effects of climate change on Arctic coastal ecosystems. This fellowship has been funded entirely through the generous donations of COI committee members, allowing us one more fellow than we typically support.

Other COI fellows that we continue to support include John Trowbridge, who is taking a leadership role in the Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks (ORION) initiative; Heidi Sosik (jointly funded with the Ocean Life Institute), who works on phytoplankton ecology and biooptics and currently oversees the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory; Jeff Donnelly, a geologist (jointly funded with the Ocean and Climate Change Institute) who is studying climate change recorded in sediments; and Chris Reddy, an organic chemist who studies the source, transport, and fate of organic compounds in seawater. We supported Jon Woodruff, a graduate student in Jeff Donnelly’s laboratory (Geology and Geophysics Department), who is working on the geologic signature of major storms and tsunamis.

—Don Anderson, Institute Director


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